PLEASE READ. Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to host the launch party for my lifestyle and accessory brand, Soraya Hennessy! During the party one question that I was repeatedly asked was, “How did this come about?” and it’s actually quite a story. After moving to Abu Dhabi two years ago I felt I was distancing myself more and more from my upbringings in Venezuela. If you’re not familiar with Venezuela, it’s a beautiful country in South America with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the tallest waterfall in the world, lively and warm people, oil, and abundance of natural resources, but has also suffered the misfortune of being run by some of the most dishonest and corrupt politicians in the world. This post is not about politics, but after being so tired of seeing the negative news of Venezuela (food and medicine shortage, crime), and feeling tied up and not able to do anything for the place I once called ‘home’ I told myself at the beginning of the year that I wanted to do something positive for my country. It was only natural that the “something” was fashion related.
My goal with Soraya Hennessy is to show people around the world the beautiful work of Wayuu artisan women and to express a positive message about my native home, Venezuela. The Wayuu (pronounced “Wah-You”) is a Native American ethnic group living on the border of Venezuela and Colombia. A big part of the Wayuu culture is the art of weaving designs in mochilas (bucket bags), chinchorros (hammocks), and mantas (robes). The technique has been passed on by women from generation to generation. Often the girls start weaving from the tender age of eight years old. My Wayuu heritage comes from my mother; I grew up seeing her and my grandmother wear mochilas on a daily basis. I designed each bag, individually chose each color, accessories, straps and phrases, and work with the Artisan Wayuu women to make the designs come to life.
Soraya Hennessy offers a modern twist to the traditional handmade bucket bag also known as a mochila, introducing fun and catchy handwoven words such as “#Fiesta” and “Fluent In Sarcasm.” Currently livng in Abu Dhabi, we have mochilas with phrases such as “Habibi” and “Yalla.” The mochilas are 100% handmade with love from Venezuela with one-of-a- kind crochet yarn.
You can shop the mochilas and clutches on SORAYAHENNESSY.COM where we offer free standard shipping on all US orders and also ship worldwide. If you are in the Middle East feel free to place an order online, through the company’s WhatsApp (see Instagram) or also find us at Sauce on Sea in JBR. I want to say a special THANK YOU for every single person who came to event last night! A big thank you to the Saadiyat Beach Club for hosting us in such a beautiful setting. Also, thank you to Ethias Flowers for making the most amazing flower bucket bag – if you ever need any flowers in Abu Dhabi this is the place to go. A special thank you to my mom for her support, and of course my husband for being so supportive. Thank YOU for following along on InstaStories, I read and received every single of your messages. I hope you follow along for the future of the brand because this is just the beginning.
Location: Saadiyat Beach Club
Pictures by: Ekaterina